Web links related to the Back of the Book program of March 28, 2005
It's Sunday night 4/10/2005 22:30:41 and this Web page is done. Hopping Oyster! We covered the below topics and more on this program. Management says that there are going to be program changes, including on the overnights, in April. Pickles of the North returns with tales of the North Pole and other stuff. And we've gotten a replacement copy of that book I lost!
An “emergency” WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting will be held Wednesday March 30, 2005, at 7:00 PM at AFSCME District Council 1707, located at 75 Varick St., 14th Floor (just north of Canal Street), in Manhattan. The location is wheelchair-accessible and public comment is welcome. The faction currently in charge is trying to rush the setting up of a committee to choose whomever the faction has probably already picked to be the interim General manager of WBAI.
A regularly scheduled WBAI Local Station Board meeting will be held on April 13, at 6:30 PM. No one knows where yet.
Here's my public statement on the so called “suspension” of a WBAI LSB member.
Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of almost every WBAI LSB meeting so far? Well, I do. And I'll be updating it soon.
At the March 9th WBAI LSB meeting the faction currently in charge pulled a fast one and went around the bylaws, which state that you need two thirds of the entire LSB to vote someone off the LSB, and came up with the idea of “suspending” a member for six months, which they claimed they could do with a simple majority. I have written a statement about this travesty and sent it to the PNB, the WBAI LSB and various public mailing lists and bulletin boards.
WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.
Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed. Both were operating at 9:39 PM last night.
The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has revamped its Web site and now has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.
WBAI also has a forum on its Web site now. You have to register to post messages, but anyone may read the messages.
We're going to talk about this Terri Shiavo thing tonight. Yes, I think that she basically died some years ago. The really big problem here is that the stinking government thinks it can dig deeply into our personal lives on something like this. That's a dangerous idea. And the Republicans are just doing it for a political advantage! They want to make the Democrats look bad! The Republicans don't care at all that they're putting people through torture. But then they don't care when they put detainees through torture either, so I guess that they're at least being consistent.
Pickles of the North talked about how residents of New York State can do something to avoid this kind of interference in their lives. There's a New York State Health Care Proxy that has the force of law behind it. If you become incapacitated and health decisions need to be made this proxy document can come in handy. In New York State, at least, the directives you put into one of these Health Care Proxies carry the same weight as if you standing there telling doctors what you want and what you don't want. You can get the proxy forms here.
We tried to bring some voice mails onto the air on this program. Unfortunately, the WBAI Internet connection was down, and in fact I think that the computer wasn't working right. The bottom line is that we couldn't get the voice mail on the air. We'll try again next program.
Hopping Oyster to everyone who cares about that stuff!
We celebrated Spring a little bit on this program. Besides playing the traditional Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles I also read aloud the following poem by A.E. Housman from his book A Shropshire Lad.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Now, of my threescore yeas and ten,
And since to look at things in bloom
We talked about a number of scientific things on this program, including the discovery of a dinosaur with some of its actual, biological tissue still inside a bone!
It's possible that some proteins from the animal may still be preserved, although any thoughts of doing a Jurassic Park type of thing with the DNA from it are doomed because DNA is a very high maintenance cchemicalstructure and after 70 million years it's not going to be yielding anything viable. Still, there's probably some good information in this sample.
On a previous program we had the sad announcement that I'd left my book The Mistakes we Make, which was published in 1898, at the station and of course it has disappeared. I'd thought that it was completely lost forever.
However, our old Saddle Pal Maxwell J. Schmid managed to find another copy of the book for sale and he bought it and had our other Saddle Pal Uncle Sidney Smith give it to me! So we've gotten this book back, which is good because we've got all of these notes about it.
So with thanks to Maxwell J. Schmid we were glad to do a segment of this program from that 1898, book named The Mistakes we Make edited by Nathan Haskell Dole.
Quotations from the book itself are set off by a green background. The rest is from me.
Electric Light in Fog — The notion obtains in England that the electric light does not penetrate the fog. This is unfounded. Owing to this prejudice lighthouses furnished with electricity are fewer on the English coast than along the coast of France.
This is an artifact of electric light being new to most people. Edison had only set up his demonstration in New York City, not far from where WBAI is currently located, in 1879. It was probably a case of people not quite used to this new form of light. And of course they were just used to kerosene lamps. It's the kind of technological misapprehension that while this one about electric light is not likely to be a common thought in 2005, is still run into these days. It's sort of like people hanging CDs from their rear view mirrors in the silly belief that the CD will somehow befuddle radar guns used by police to measure speeds, or the idea that Microsoft Inc. makes an actual word processor.
Vinegar's Mother — Probably most persons imagine that there is a material relationship between vinegar and its mother. The word is really mudder, which is found in all Germanic languages, with the natural sense of mid, thickening.
Well, this was something I read mostly because we were running out of time and I was just so thrilled to have the book back.
Looking this up I've discovered that “vinegar's mother” is a bacterial culture used to convert alcohol to acetic acid, which is vinegar. The cultures appear to be aged. The vinegar you buy in stores has usually been sterilized, so these bacteria are rarely found in ordinary vinegar bottles.
Apparently this vinegar's mother stuff is also contained in balsamic vinegar, while a lot of vinegar we buy today is just artificially produced acetic acid made in a factory.
So in this case I'd have to think that editor Dole was wrong and that there is a relationship between vinegar and this vinegar's mother stuff.
And we did some mail on this program. Here are the E-mails we read.
The CD is The Minstrel Boy and the singer was John McCormick, the cut we played was Bird Songs At Eventide.
Yeah, “I've heard the what have you got to lose?” argument for embracing superstition before. But I really prefer to keep to what we perceive as reality. It's difficult enough to figure things out as it is without introducing befuddling supernaturalisms to confuse ourselves even more.
Unfortunately, it's not there anymore! Maybe this will get cleared up on a future program, or maybe the page got hit too much from people sending out E-mails about it and the site pulled it. I am doomed to tardiness.
Next we have a set of messages from a listener who send cryptic text messages over his or her cell phone.
There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.
Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.
Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.
You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.
There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.
This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.
There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand.
When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.
And then there is the historic “Free Pacifica!” list, which has been used to help organize resistance to Pacifica Management hijackers since the mid-90s. It's become a low volume mailing list because it's been eclipsed by some of the newer, more technologically advanced, lists. Just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. This is a mailing list only, it doesn't have a digest option nor does it have a web interface.
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